The holidays are now upon us, whether you’re ready for them or not. For many, the holiday season often means slower business, while others count this the busiest time of year. Is your marketing strategy ready for whatever the season throws at you? If not, you may want to use this handy list as a guide to keep you on track.

Deck the Website

Have you even acknowledged yet that the holidays are here? Even if you don’t completely redesign your website, you should have some indicators that you’re not a Grinch. This is especially true if you’re counting on the Christmas season to propel your sales.

Go Wassailing

So, no, you don’t necessarily need to get out of the office to spread holiday cheer, but you don’t want to sit around being Scrooge either. Make sure your social media strategy includes plenty of happy wishes, Christmas specials, shopping tips, and other general holiday-themed posts. When your posts put people in the holiday spirit, it also puts them in the mood to shop. And that’s good for you.

Hang Ornaments with Care

If you’re adding new information and images to your website in preparation for the holiday season, yay! Just be sure you check the files you use to make sure they won’t slow your website down. People are going to be in a rush, and they don’t want to wait for your website to load. On a normal day, 30% will give up after 15 seconds. How many will wait around for a slower site when they’re in a bigger hurry?

Give Good Directions to the Party

If you create new landing pages for your holiday specials and then advertise them with AdWords, make sure the links lead to the right places. Nothing will irritate a potential customer more than finding your products or services with a Google search, only to have to search again once they reach your site. Test your PPC campaigns before you go live to make sure every link goes exactly where it’s supposed to go.

Wrap Presents with Care

Discounts and coupons are a great idea for holiday specials, but you should proceed with caution. Remember that buyers will associate your products with your prices. If you can sell something at a drastic discount during the holiday season, how much is it really worth? That value perception will stick around long after the holidays are over. For that reason, you should consider marking down only the items you don’t plan to sell in the new year. If you discount your services for the season, don’t go too far or you’ll have trouble returning to normal prices when Christmas is over.

Coupons should have a defined value and expiration date. Otherwise, you could lose a lot of money on your products and services as customers continue to take advantage of your special prices long after the tinsel has been taken down.

Give the Gift of Gift Cards

Last-minute shoppers need a gift that has meaning but doesn’t require shipping. That’s where gift cards and certificates come in. No matter your business type—whether ecommerce, retail, service-oriented, or consulting—a gift card or certificate could make the perfect last-minute gift for someone on everyone’s list.

Make Resolutions

It’s easy to get caught up in the planning and excitement of the Christmas holidays and forget to look forward. You should take this time to make your plans for the coming year. Create your goals, define the path you’ll take to those goals, and start putting any new actions into place now. Even the smallest steps taken now will help you make bigger strides after the new year.

Now that you’ve made your list, be sure to check it twice. If you need some help with any of the suggestions here, we’re always available. We want to help you have the happiest holidays possible, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

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